Poor Prince Harry. He went to the Sin City trusting the movie adage, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’. Unfortunately for him, the code was compromised. Someone set up the honey trap. Harry was made to meet Sally. And the Prince was caught wearing the Emperor’s New Clothes!
Put yourself in his embarrassing shoes. If you were Dirty Harry, what would you have done differently? Banning camera phones is out of the question, as they are too ubiquitous. The one sensible thing Princess Diana’s son could have done is to check in quietly with a bland alias. That would have given him the mask of anonymity to be his primal self.
Which is precisely why, travelling incognito is a favoured strategy among celebrities. It is said that Marilyn Monroe was one of the early pioneers of this technique when she escaped to New York, using the nom de plume ‘Zelda Zonk’.
With a wig, without any make up, whether Miss Zelda Zonk bonks a mystery man named John F. Kennedy or lets her white skirt billow, no one would really give a fig. Such is the power of a pseudonym.
Sometimes hotels play along just to protect the privacy of the superstars from the prying paparazzi. In such moments, the celebs get to cherry pick their fake names. Britney Spears has confessed that she prefers Ms. Alotta Warmheart, Mrs. Diana Prince, Queen of the Fairy Dance or simply Mrs. Abra Cadabra!
The Talented Mr. Matt Damon signs in as ‘John President’ as he could have White House like conversations when someone asks him, ‘Would that be a wine or champagne, Mr. President?’ In stark contrast, Johnny Depp opts for the downright uncool Mr. Stench or Monseiur Poopy.
Famous people often use mock monikers to express their sense of humour. When Jeniffer Aniston was dumped by Brad Pitt after ‘Mr and Mrs. Smith’, Aniston playfully chose Mrs. Smith as her check-out name. Likewise prankster Marlon Brando is reported to have registered as Lord Greystoke (Tarzan’s real name) several times during his career. But the one who takes the cake is George Clooney. They say he often pretended he was ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’!